IX. THE TEST OF A BROTHER HAVING A CASE AGAINST
ANOTHER BROTHER—1 CORINTHIANS 6:1, 6-8
In Corinth, brother went to law with brother, and that before unbelievers, to be judged before the unrighteous, and not before the saints. This took place in a church established by Paul. The apostle charged the brothers of this kind to realize that it is altogether a defeat for them that they have lawsuits among themselves, and that they should rather be wronged and rather be defrauded, that is, suffer loss, bear the cross. This is the best way to solve a problem that concerns material gain or loss.
X. THE TEST OF THE CORINTHIAN BELIEVERS
EXAMINING PAUL AS TO HIS QUALIFICATION
FOR BEING AN APOSTLE—1 CORINTHIANS 9:3
Paul made a defense for himself with the signs of his apostleship, and he took a strong stand concerning all his rights as an apostle (vv. 1-14; 2 Cor. 12:11-12). But for the sake of the spreading of the gospel, he had not used all the rights of his apostleship (1 Cor. 9:15-23).
It seems that Paul was vindicating himself in taking care of this case, but he did it in this way not for his own gain, but for the profit of the church, which would have suffered a great loss by doubting his qualification for being an apostle.
XI. THE TEST OF THE BELIEVERS PARTAKING
OF THE LORD’S TABLE UNWORTHILY—
1 CORINTHIANS 11:19-22, 27
In dealing with this problem, Paul said that parties, sects, are unavoidable among the believers, that those who are approved may become manifest among the believers (v. 19). This was the reason Paul gave for such things happening in the churches established by him. This kind of trouble is a sifting that shows whether or not we are approved. The word approved can also be translated experienced. Our being approved indicates that we are experienced and thus, that it is not easy for us to participate in any kind of party.
This is the way in the experience of life to deal with such a case of trouble that indicates the shortage of growth in the spiritual life.
(Elders' Training, Book 10: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (2), Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)